Ambient Control in Valencia

Valencia is a great place to live, but humidity, air and water quality can be a problem.  The humidity makes it colder in the winter and hotter in the summer, while clean air and water are essential for our well being.

Air Quality

Air quality in Valencia is not as bad as in some cities, thanks to the proximity of the sea.  But on a bad day in the summer, from afar, you can see the city shrouded in an almost yellow vapour.   Breathing city air is akin to smoking 10+ cigarettes a day, and is not good for you (understatement).

Valencia air pollution
Valencia air pollution

The best way to combat this in the home, is to install a good quality HEPA filter fan.  You may need more than one.  A HEPA filter will eliminate 99% + particles in the air and give you relatively clean air when you are at home.

HEPA filter fans
HEPA filter fans
COVID19

A thought about protection against COVID19 and air borne viruses.  A typical mask will only cover your mouth and nose, but not your eyes, which are also susceptible.  To have the best chance of avoiding the virus, we all should wear something to protect our eyes.  If you don’t use glasses, to be on the safe side, you should use an eye protector, when out shopping or in an area with other people.

eye-protector
Eye-Protector
Humidity

If you have an air conditioning unit, the dry setting is good to reduce humidity  and make it more comfortable.

If you don´t  have A/C in a bedroom which suffers from damp, a portable dehumidifier is a relatively cheap way to reduce the problem.

dehumidifier
dehumidifier solves problem of an exterior wall with damp

when you buy a dehumidifier, check for noise level (decibelios)  and water capacity. A 3 litre collector is optimum.

Heat

In the summer, direct sunlight can make a room unbearably hot, A built in rolling blind (persiana) can help, but leaves the room in darkness.  Also persianas are often plastic that does not block the heat as well as other materials.

A external roll down awning  (toldo) is one solution.  Another is the typical slatted rolling blind (mosquitera alicantina).  The slats should be wooden for best insulation

Mosquitera Alicantina
Mosquitera Alicantina

A Ceiling fan in the bedroom also makes a big difference.

Insulation

If you have a thin exterior wall between you and the heat in the summer and the cold in the winter, you should consider insulating the wall.

Accoustic / Thermal Insulation
Accoustic / Thermal Insulation

For best sound and temperature insulation,  you must insist on top quality felt insulation.  If you leave it to the builders, they will put in the cheapest.

If you are on the top floor or have noisy neighbours above, ceiling insulation is an option.  It will make the room warmer in  the winter and not so hot in the summer.

Water Quality

Tap water in Valencia and the mediterrenean seaboard is very hard.  Limescale is the principal problem.  There are also more nitrates in the water than found in other areas.  Finally chlorine is needed to keep the water bug free, that leaves the water with a bitter taste, especially if it has had to pass through old pipes in an old building.

Hard limescale is precipitated when there is a change of pressure or temperature, and attaches itself to the walls of the pipes.  A layer of limescale in the pipes reduces water pressure and causes problems with gas water heaters that require a good flow to ignite.  Limescale also builds up on the electrodes of water heaters, increasing the cost of heating water and shortening the life of the water heater.  It also shortens the useful life of washing machines and electric kettles.

Electronic Water Conditioners

To combat limescale, we recommend the Hydroflow electronic water conditioner.  Hydroflow uses sine waves, that are not to be confused with the much less effective  electro-magnetic signals generated by regular electronic solutions.

sine wave vs electro-magnets
sine wave vs electro-magnets

For more information on Hydroflow and how to buy it, please visit www.aguaeco.com, which is devoted to ecological water conditioners.

Salt based water softeners

We do not recommend salt based water softeners.  They prevent limescale, but do not remove existing limescale.  The softened water causes corrosion.  Worse still, the water from the tap has a nasty taste. To cap it all, you have a bulky unit that needs to be refilled with salt regularly.

salt softener

Reverse osmosis

Reverse osmosis (osmosis inversa) fitted under the kitchen sink is a good way to get water free of chlorine and minerals.  It will taste better; but it may be devoid of healthy minerals  like calcium that we need, and you will have the ongoing cost of replacement filters.   If you decide to go for Reverse Osmosis, it is important to get a direct flow system  with a remineralising filter.  If it is not direct flow, you will lose 30%+ water.  Remineralization will make the water good for you.

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